Finding someone you can trust to do an important job for you is tough at any point in your life, and this is especially true with tradesmen or contracted work.
They come into your home, do extensive work on the place you live, and cost a lot of money. This is why the decision to hire a person to do home improvement is not one people take lightly.
But what is the procedure to finding someone you can truly trust? It sounds like it’s easier said than done… Thankfully there are some steps you can follow to put all of the best chances on your side. You need to do a lot of looking in various places, get lots of recommendations, ask questions and get as detailed a plan as possible.
Below, I’ve shown this step by step process in more detail.
Search high and low
There are many different places you can look to find someone to help you achieve the dream you have for your home. This means it can be hard to know where to start. Usually, we start by looking online. This can be a very valuable resource if you know how to use the tool to your advantage. Simple Googling may suffice, but not always. There’s information about companies that can’t be found online – for instance, are they going to clean up their own messes or not?
This kind of information can only really be found by asking real people about their experiences. A lot of the time, you can find answers to your questions online. Look for the information you need on various sites, and if you’re serious about a tradesman, see if they can answer your questions directly. If they try to hard-sell you at this point, tell them you’re simply trying to find the best person to work with. Trustworthy companies will let you decide for yourself.
You want to get information about their business, their values, how long they’ve been doing what they do and what their true expertise is. This is how you can find someone to trust to do the best job. Say you want a new kitchen; your ideal tradesman has installed dozens of new kitchens. He is not, say, simply a plumbing expert. He could be both! But it’s up to you to find out.
Get lots of recommendations
This is crucially important. Recommendations are the lifeblood of trustworthy businesses as they prove to future customers that they are good at what they do. Great tradesmen should be seeking them out and eager to hand them out to interested parties. A complete absence of online reviews (and otherwise) should raise your suspicions.
Look in places you hadn’t thought of, like local online forums. Ask your neighbours or other local people you know if they have any recommendations or people to steer clear of. This is often the best way to predict your experience. Rogue double glazing tradesmen are easily avoided when you know the name of their business in your area. You want someone with a well-trusted name to put your new windows in, otherwise you might end up having to do it all over again in a few months.
In-person or personal recommendations often carry more value than online ones, but you should not discount them outright. Online reviews can indeed be faked, but look for patterns across many different review sites. This should help you avoid fake reviews. However, since they can be an issue, trust in-person recommendations more.
Ask lots of questions
Armed with loads of information about what you need and who can provide it for you, you’re in the best position to narrow down your options. Usually, this means requesting a ton of quotes to compare, as well as asking lots of questions. These can be technical in nature, but not necessarily. Ask about whatever concerns you about their business proposition.
For instance, how long does their work usually take? Are there often unexpected costs that arise? What do customers usually find difficult about the process? How do they ensure you get the best possible experience? These are just some examples of different kinds of questions you can ask the person who’s going to be doing the work.
You and your partner might have a different set of worries or questions to ask, so you can each have your list of questions to ask your potential tradesmen. It’s important to make sure everyone feels they trust the contractor, not just the person who’s been doing all the research.
Get a detailed plan
After you’ve asked a lot of questions, you’re ready to decide who you want to choose. At this point you will have a fairly clear view of what they will do. Whether it begins with having a skip dropped off, doing some measuring or clearing out a room, ask your tradesmen to start from the beginning.
You want to have a clear view of what the work is going to entail. You can do this by asking for a detailed plan. This ensures you continue to have a good working relationship with your hired contractor, because you are less likely to ask yourself “what are they doing now?”. This trust you have in them can be ruined if you’re constantly questioning what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.